Here at Finesse, we do a lot of work in consultancy and business etiquette training. And one of the questions we’ve been getting asked lately is: has COVID-19 changed business etiquette? Are conversations more relaxed now? What has replaced the handshake? And how can you control people’s perception of you through a screen? Well, we’ve had a think, and here are our top tips for tackling business etiquette in the middle of a global pandemic!
Firstly, when it comes to COVID business etiquette, it’s essential to stay au fait with the rules. We know this sounds obvious, but with regulations changing so often, it’s vital you stay informed. Understanding the rules can help whoever you’re dealing with feel more comfortable in your presence. And, at the end of the day, the golden rule of business etiquette is to ensure those around you feel well taken care of.
Respect time online
Our second tip is to respect people’s time online. This should be a general rule of thumb, but it can sometimes be taken for granted in the online world when we know that the other person is probably sitting comfortably at home and not waiting for you in an empty boardroom anxiously watching the clock.
Additionally, looking at a Zoom screen for a long time can be absolutely exhausting. So, while it can be tempting to let some meetings go on and on, our advice is to respect the other person’s time just as you would in real life. If a meeting is in set to start and finish at a particular time, try to stick to it.
Switch it up
Now, while we’ve all got used to the convenience of Zoom meetings, that doesn’t mean we need to have them all the time. Sometimes a conversation on the phone or an email will suffice, or, if possible, an in-person meeting. While Zoom is a great and efficient option, try to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting and varied for your employees and clients alike.
Bring that positive energy
In real-life, body language and other external factors play a huge part in conversation and directly influence how both parties come across. Online, you’ve got a lot less to work with and that’s why it’s essential to consider the energy you’re bringing to a meeting to truly reflect who you are. Start every Zoom conversation with a burst of positivity to make a great impression – everyone loves a good attitude!
Curate your space
If you’re getting ready for an online meeting, remember that it’s not only you that will be in view, but also your surroundings. That’s why we suggest taking some time to curate your space – this is the time to make your bed and pick up those clothes (if they’re going to be visible). Ultimately, your setting should reflect who you are while also appearing clean and organised. When in doubt, go for a plain white wall for your background – you can’t go wrong!
In a nutshell, the same rules of business etiquette that we use in normal circumstances still apply online. So, if you wouldn’t do something in person, then you probably shouldn’t do it online, either. To build a successful relationship with a client or colleague, you need to put your best self forward so it’s always best to maintain the same professional standards on Zoom as you would in the office.
We hope you found you found these tips useful. In the meantime, if you or your business could benefit from specialist business consultancy and etiquette training get in touch one [email protected]. We’d love to help you finesse your business, serve your clients best and achieve more success!